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"You can tell from the stuff you find here that people used to study science," Jana Mezher said while carefully flipping through dusty science books in an abandoned house in the Rmeil area. Mezher has been exploring abandoned houses for two years. For Mezher, these abandoned houses are more than just dwellings.Kuwait-born Yasmine Shuhaiber, an established urbexer, went on her first exploration in 2010 . Since then, she has been taking photos of houses and mansions dating back to the late 1800s and shares them with her big following on Instagram. The community runs an Instagram page where they feature aesthetic photos of abandoned dwellings.Led by Badran, the community wants to eventually establish an NGO that would fundraise for the preservation of some of Beirut's decaying buildings.The picture for me is just a memory of the place, because I feel that when I start researching about who used to live there, the history and what I felt in the moment, I focus more on the importance of preserving these places than on the picture," Mezher said.Through her research, and by integrating technological tools such as augmented reality, Mezher hopes to develop projects that inquire into ways in which Lebanese people can reclaim the history of these decaying historical structures.
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